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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Celina, TX
    Posts
    123

    Default Scheduler for the Patio guy

    Well I've just completed 1 year of solid reliable imaging using ACP Internet with a scope on a tripod on the Patio. I fought mostly with Maxim guide star faded guiding but once I discovered multi-star guiding plain vanilla simple dark with my 2x2 binned lodestar guiding simply never fails even with iffy skies.. Well there have to be some stars of course! ACP had always been solid and after solving the lodestar/Maxim issue I decided on completion of my first year with ACP to take the next step and move to Scheduler on top of ACP. I wanted to say that my setup is quite simple.. pier in backyard rather than the tripod and a couple of refractors and small newtonian which rotate depending on targets. Scheduler has quite simply completely changed the way I approach imaging and even without a building ACPS is the most bang for the buck investment I've ever made with this hobby pursuit. I had to change from making plans for 2 or 3 objects each of which I had to worry about times as the season moved on and the moon came and went to 10+ objects all defined in an elegant web tool and I no longer have to consider what is where. The Why's and Wherefore's are all dealt with now.

    This last week I gave ACPS a severe test. Asked it to run 4 nights in a row on evenings all but one of which I would have not bothered to setup. I raised the threshold on acceptable skies with my cloudwatcher knowing the skies where not good for great imaging and fired it up each evening. Never a hitch!! I was used to that with ACP but having Scheduler as the brains is just amazing. For my testing the best night was the worst night where clouds toggled between safe and unsafe (no rain to worry about) and ACPS just soldiered on parking from time to time and starting again while I mostly slept.

    Now my problem is I have lots of data to sort on 7 out of my 10 projects (3 I knew would never get high enough). That moon avoid or moon down constraint meant that given the full moon early part of the week I got just Ha. As the week progressed and the moon rose later and later ACPS reached out to more filters. I actually did get quite a bit of very good data. I think for the casual 1 or 2 target a night manual imaging mindset what I like most about ACPS is it handles the heavy lifting. I just have to compose objects and decide how high it needs to be for any filter and when that might happen is simply not something I need to worry about.

    Patio guys like myself can tend to use different OTA's.. 80mm F/5 TMBLOMO/120mmF/5 APO/ 200mmF/5 Newt..one camera which moves. I just decided to have a web user for each OTA and separate the projects, that way i can selectively disable all but the user which represents the scope on the mount. To make a short story long ACPS is the perfect tool also for a simple little patio imager. Learning how silly my plans might be was simple and fast using the Scheduler Simulator!! Yes I can make Scheduler act just like me with ACP alone by turning of rising plan delay and moon avoidance but after fighting to learn how to do that I finally asked myself exactly why would I want to do that? !

    Thank you Bob for those couple of words to get me going. Your support is fantastic! I'm including a narrow band target dragged out of the haze of Texas.

    Clear skies to all,
    Ron
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    27,273

    Default

    Ron -- Thanks so much for sharing your successes with us. For me it's great to hear good news. It makes it all worthwhile!
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Crouch View Post
    Patio guys like myself can tend to use different OTA's.. 80mm F/5 TMBLOMO/120mmF/5 APO/ 200mmF/5 Newt..one camera which moves. I just decided to have a web user for each OTA and separate the projects, that way i can selectively disable all but the user which represents the scope on the mount.
    This is exactly what I want to do!

    I am in evaluation mode - I can see in ACP Preferences where I set up multiple web users - in my case, Esprit80, Esprit120, Edge925.

    But I'm stuck on how to specify and switch users on the web browser side, both in the ACP Observatory control web page and the ACP Expert scheduler page. I see the Log Off command, but it seems to just release the observatory, and the top of the ACP web page still says Welcome to the same name, and I can't get the page back where I log in again. Do you manually delete cookies to do this?

    And once I figure this out (logging off as one user and logging on as another), I'm guessing that only the newly logged in user's projects show up on the ACP Expert scheduler page?

    Thanks for any help, this seems like it should be the easy part!

    Rowland

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Celina, TX
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Hello Rowland,

    For me it ended up very simple to deal with multiple OTAs! I only use a single web account. It's me after all.. I only compose objects in the Scheduler web browser and in the project name I simply include the hardware! Eg "M33_6120_sw120F5" might be the project name. It means "M33 with QSI6120 and Skywatcher 120 with reducer". Inside of that I call the image files whatever I want with short names.

    so.. I end up with a bunch of projects for different setups. It is a one click operation to disable or enable a project! The actual time to manage this for me is seconds whenever I change setups. Once you learn the drill with the scheduler browser it is pretty hard to imagine not having it!! On a typical nigt when I start I first remotely turn on the computer.. Then VNC in and launch ACP & Scheduler. Then from my home office (scope is in backyard) I connect to the scheduler browser and select what I want to do. If I want to add something new I do so. AFter that I power up the hub/mount/dew heater.. In VNC I connect it all up and just check the box to enable the Scheduler. I also use a Cygwin rsync script to push all the acquired data as copies on my big inside server so in the morning my data is already inside.. I just shutdown the gear .. move scope from park 4 to park 3, turn off mount and shutdown scope PC. Then after I get coffee in hand I go out back and bring in the OTA and cover the mount. All the electronics are in weather proof setups at the stage even before I throw on the 365 cover.

    Hope this helps!!

    Clear skies,
    Ron

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Hi Ron,

    Thanks for the speedy and helpful reply! I "get" what you're saying, and that sounds like a good option - basically make it easy to identify the projects that are associated with the currently mounted optical train, and enable just those.

    I did play around with it before getting your reply, and using what I thought you were doing -- a web user per OTA -- I was able to get things set up too. I found that if I closed down the browser completely, it logs you out of the secure connection to ACP. Restart the browser, open your ACP page, and it prompts you for user / password again, so you can login as a different web user.

    The only advantage I can see to that approach would be if you had a LOT of projects set up for an OTA - as long as the web user for that OTA is not an Admin, seems like you could one-click "enable all / disable all" the plans for that user. And logged in as Admin, you could disable everything as a starting point.

    But it would get cumbersome if you had too many different OTA/camera combinations.

    Sounds like we have somewhat similar setups -permanent pier, 365 cover. I have an AAG Cloudwatcher to wake me up if the weather gets dodgy.

    I have all the electronics for the scope in a plastic tub that I carry out to the scope. Four cables and it's all connected. Sounds like you leave your scope electronics all outside, including the PC that runs at the scope? Any pictures of that setup?

    Thanks again!

    Rowland

  6. #6

    Smile Scheduler is back onlne

    So I am trying something different, a smaller schedule instead of 200 objects. This way I can manage it a little bit easier. 4 days now since running and have 200 images so far of a few objects. Image lost 0% so I guess the new setup is working
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dean Salman
    Deep Sky Remote Observatory


    http://www.ccdimages.com
    http://www.sharplesscatalog.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    27,273

    Default

    Great, looking good! Thank you for passing along your success, and once again welcome back sir!!
    -- Bob

 

 

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